Stephen and his wife Linda live in Kirkham and for 13 years Stephen managed the Face To Face Homelessness Charity merging it into Fylde Coast YMCA some ten years ago. As Housing Director at the YMCA, Stephen was responsible for developing various community projects including The Credit Union and Fylde Counselling Service.
Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
|Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.|
It’s just over a week since the opening of Church Road’s new Community Hub. A great joy has been watching people’s faces as they have entered for the first time. Surprise and pleasure and ‘Wow I didn’t expect all this space.’
When we decide to reduce our footprint by half, I showed the developers and architects around, they entered the church and were shocked at the light airy space and commented it is so much better on the inside than the outside.
Like everyone when a development is going on we had to put some things in storage and cope with using a small space. Eighteen months later we realised we had kept things we didn’t need after all. Our perspectives had changed. Some of those who have supported the scheme from the beginning have confided they never thought it would turn out as good as it has.
Within the lifetime of our members they have worked hard to raise money to extend the premises, then sixty years later they’ve watched the demolition of buildings filled with happy memories. But now they are equally excited about the future.
In its 131-year history the church has undergone at least five major building schemes adapting to the needs of those around it. Someone visiting the Café for the first time asked me “What is the future for the church?” We talked at length about the various projects the church undertakes in addition to worship. His conclusion, not mine, was “there’s more to the church than meets the eye”.
It is too easy to judge things from the outside, not realise how we can do more with less and trust God to show us there’s more to life than we are experiencing now. But then the church is more than a building!